The Lake District

Driving through the UK: Day 1 - THE LAKE DISTRICT, CUMBRIA, ENGLAND.

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The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.
— Alfred Wainwright
Had to get out of the car for a photo... and narrowly avoid the tiny cars speeding round every corner!

Had to get out of the car for a photo... and narrowly avoid the tiny cars speeding round every corner!

Being the Anglophiles that we are, Nathan and I recently decided to book a trip to England. He had never been before and it seemed ridiculous, considering we live in New York which is *only* a 6 hour flight away. The last time I was in the UK was 8 years ago, and it took me nearly 24 hours (all the way from Sydney) to get there!

We love to be on the road so we knew our journey would take the form of a road trip and we planned the route so that we could see as much of the country as possible in 8 days.

We began our trip in Manchester (airport, car rental, etc.) and drove northward in hopes of reaching Edinburgh, Scotland by evening. We decided to veer west, as we wanted to pass through the Lake District.

We drove through the picturesque town of Windermere, following the steep roads down to the lake, after which we headed toward Ullswater Lake, where the views from the winding roadside were breathtaking.

The day was grey, of course, but it was all part of the charm and it's easy to see how and why so many great writers and poets were inspired by this district. William Wordsworth referred to the Lake District as, "the loveliest spot that man hath found," and children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter holidayed there in her youth, and loved it so much that she ended up owning and preserving land throughout much of the area later in her life.

Like most beautiful places, the camera doesn't nearly do it justice. The mountains, the valleys, the infinite shades of green. Lakes and rolling mist... ancient-looking stone fences and, of course, countless sheep.

Not to mention, we spent most of our time in the car (moving) so it was near-impossible for me to get a good shot (I'm a terrible camera woman, to boot) but I did my best to record a few clips and make it into a little video, which I've also shared here (scroll to the bottom to watch!).

I have no regrets; as I'm now firmly convinced that the passenger seat of a tiny car really is the best way to see England. (NOTE: We also drove by Hadrian's Wall, but we only got out of the car for a moment and didn't walk alongside of it so I didn't get a good shot but I can confirm that it's amazing, and worth a visit).

Everything was grey and perfect.

Everything was grey and perfect.

Views like this for miles...

Views like this for miles...

So happy (and a little cold!)

So happy (and a little cold!)

Admiring the view...

Admiring the view...

So many Brontë vibes.

So many Brontë vibes.

Had to wear my vintage lambskin jacket to match my woolly roadside friends...

Had to wear my vintage lambskin jacket to match my woolly roadside friends...

The stone fences which made everything look frozen in time!

The stone fences which made everything look frozen in time!

Designated Driver <3

Designated Driver <3


Midsummer in Midtown

One fine Midsummer's Day in Manhattan, this Downtown Girl found herself in Midtown, getting her hair done in a romantic, princess style then prancing down Fashion Avenue with her bestie Becca (Rebecca Alaniz) and a bunch of lovely German photographers...  Here is what we came up with. <3

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Wearing: "The Valentina - Purple Haze" dress by Réalisation Par; Vintage DC3 Necklace by Bagatiba; Zara Sandals; Vintage bag from Moon in Sagittarius Vintage - check them out on Instagram here.

Photo Credit: Manuel Thorne (edits by me). Find him on instagram here and his website here.

Brooklyn Botanic

Recently, my friend Rebecca and I decided to spend a sunny Tuesday afternoon in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Admission is free on Tuesdays (!) and neither of us had ever been before, despite having now lived in New York for over 3 years. According to the garden's website, the cherry blossom trees were in peak bloom and we knew that if we didn't take the opportunity, we would miss seeing them for another year.

After a surprisingly quick subway ride (from Greenwich Village) we walked to the gardens. After some meandering, photo-taking, and exploring a greenhouse, we finally reached the Cherry Tree Esplanade. It truly does live up to its name. Made up of two lanes, the trees bloomed on either side of each lane and hundreds of people sat, frolicked, and photographed, despite the relatively quiet hour and day we had chosen to visit. Needless to say, we were relieved we didn't pick a Saturday!

It was nearly impossible to get a photograph without people in it, but as you can see, we tried our best.

Doing my best to blend in. &lt;3

Doing my best to blend in. <3

Cherry Blossoms &lt;3

Cherry Blossoms <3

Japanese Vibes. &lt;3

Japanese Vibes. <3

Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.
— Clare Ansberry
I love all flowers, but green ones are up there amongst my all-time favourites.

I love all flowers, but green ones are up there amongst my all-time favourites.

I had the Jurassic Park theme song in my head for this bit and, much to Rebecca's dismay, I hummed it extra-loudly as we walked around.

I had the Jurassic Park theme song in my head for this bit and, much to Rebecca's dismay, I hummed it extra-loudly as we walked around.

If you live in New York and are interested in visiting the garden, you can check their website for detailed information regarding the plants and flowers in season at any given time. As far as I know, peony season is currently underway, and June will be all about roses. X

Wearing: Topshop Dress, Made Me Jacket

Photography by Rebecca Alaniz

The Film Star and the Folk Singer

It's no secret that I LOVE watching movies, and 'Oscars Day' is basically a National Holiday in my family's home. One of my best friends Lois (@loisvega) shares these sentiments, and as we were in the same country for once (!), we decided to watch it together. Obviously, we dressed up for the occasion, and after a few drinks, we decided we may as well turn the day into a bit of a photo shoot.

Wearing: Vintage Dress from   Buffalo Exchange  , Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Vintage Dress from Buffalo Exchange, Vintage Earrings.

We took some film photos for my upcoming EP (so excited!) which I won't share yet... But here are some taken on my Canon, in my little brother's room (thanks, Samuel) in front of his film collection, drinking his whiskey... When you're the eldest child, you get the privilege of taking a few liberties with your siblings...

Wearing:   Reformation   Dress,   Topshop   Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Reformation Dress, Topshop Headband, Vintage Earrings.

I like to think these two outfits represent two of my favourite personas: firstly, a glamorous film star ready to accept her Oscar ("here's to the ones that dream...") and secondly, an old-school, Greenwich Village folk singer. I've been listening to Nancy & Lee a lot lately, can you tell? ;)

Wearing: Vintage Dress from   Buffalo Exchange  , Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Vintage Dress from Buffalo Exchange, Vintage Earrings.

I love this vintage smock dress that I picked up from Buffalo Exchange about a year ago. It was one of those pieces that you almost leave behind because you're not quite sure if you can pull it off. I'm so glad I decided to grab it in the end, because it quickly became one of my favourite summer go-tos, and I get so many compliments on it! The colour and print are so unique.

Wearing:   Reformation   Dress,   Topshop   Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Reformation Dress, Topshop Headband, Vintage Earrings.

This beautiful white dress is by Reformation and it's one of my favourites. That's saying a lot because I own sooo many. I was gifted it for my birthday last year and I've worn it everywhere: to parties, events and even to the beach! It's a wrap dress, so it goes beautifully over anything -- a slip, a bikini, it does it all.

Wearing: Vintage Dress from   Buffalo Exchange  , Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Vintage Dress from Buffalo Exchange, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing:   Reformation   Dress,   Topshop   Heels &amp; Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Reformation Dress, Topshop Heels & Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing:   Reformation   Dress,   Topshop   Heels &amp; Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Reformation Dress, Topshop Heels & Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Heels from  Topshop

Heels from Topshop

I can't seem to say no to gold heels. I have two pairs from Topshop and I'm obsessed with both. These ones aren't only vintage-inspired and glittery (two of my favourite things) but also extremely easy to walk in. I love the block heel. I also love wearing them with glittery ankle socks!

Giving the Moonlight Producers side eye because they robbed La La Land... (JKS! But srsly).  Wearing: Vintage Dress from   Buffalo Exchange  , Vintage Earrings.

Giving the Moonlight Producers side eye because they robbed La La Land... (JKS! But srsly).

Wearing: Vintage Dress from Buffalo Exchange, Vintage Earrings.

The earrings I'm wearing here are pretty special because they were given to me by my Grandma. I wear them all the time because despite being so over-the-top they seem to go with most of my wardrobe.

Wearing:   Reformation   Dress,   Topshop   Headband, Vintage Earrings.

Wearing: Reformation Dress, Topshop Headband, Vintage Earrings.

What did you think of the Oscars this year? Were you on team La La Land or were you glad Moonlight won? And what was your favourite film of 2016? Let me know in the comments! xo

LUNA PARK

Wearing: Topshop shorts.

Wearing: Topshop shorts.

nos·tal·gia (noun):

"A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."

Luna Park, located in Milson's Point on the north shore of Sydney Harbour, is an amusement park that first opened in 1935. With its terrifying entrance (a grinning, kitsch clown face) and its old-fashioned rides, a trip to the park is certain to reignite childhood memories for most Sydney-siders. While the Rotor (essentially a large, upright, spinning barrel) is probably the most popular ride, I prefer the grandma-like pace (and views!) of the Ferris Wheel.

My friend Lois (who would ordinarily abandon me in favour of all the sickening rides she could possibly manage) took these photos, did my makeup and helped style. We share a love for all things nostalgic, which means we almost never disagree when styling a shoot.

In Luna Park, we attempted to recreate a bygone era -- one of small, simple pleasures: long summers, homemade clothes and childhood birthday parties, and first dates -- all of the things that we imagine might go with a "trip to the fair".

It's always nice when you're genuinely excited about the prop food, isn't it?

It's always nice when you're genuinely excited about the prop food, isn't it?

My favourite "ride" in any park.

My favourite "ride" in any park.

It's amazing how some bows, a ponytail and pink fairy floss can instantly transport you back to childhood... &lt;3

It's amazing how some bows, a ponytail and pink fairy floss can instantly transport you back to childhood... <3

Wearing: Vintage hat and dress.

Wearing: Vintage hat and dress.

And of course, no trip to Luna Park is complete without some of my favourite naughty snacks: fairy floss (that's cotton candy for you Americans), hot chips (fries!) and frozen coke.

Waiting (im)patiently for food...

Waiting (im)patiently for food...

Two of my lifelong loves: frozen coke and hot chips.

Two of my lifelong loves: frozen coke and hot chips.

Wearing: Vintage dress.

Wearing: Vintage dress.

Wearing: Topshop shorts.

Wearing: Topshop shorts.

Just day-dreaming about how much I love fairy floss...

Just day-dreaming about how much I love fairy floss...

Jenny was the Leader of a Teenage Gang

Of the three of us, only two can actually ride a skateboard...

Of the three of us, only two can actually ride a skateboard...

If you guessed correctly - congratulations. I am the fraud on the left. (Centre:  Renae Bartley,  Right:  Bella Thomas ).

If you guessed correctly - congratulations. I am the fraud on the left. (Centre: Renae Bartley, Right: Bella Thomas).

Holding a skateboard is serious business. Obviously.

Holding a skateboard is serious business. Obviously.

I love this  t-shirt.  And these earrings, which were gifted to me by my beloved Grandma &lt;3

I love this t-shirt. And these earrings, which were gifted to me by my beloved Grandma <3

Wearing: S toned Immaculate Tee ,  American Apparel Shorts , Vintage Earrings

Wearing: Stoned Immaculate Tee, American Apparel Shorts, Vintage Earrings

Myself and two real-life Disney Princesses.

Myself and two real-life Disney Princesses.

One of the only shots where my hair did not resemble the two ladies beside me. Bondi was ANGRY that day, my friends...

One of the only shots where my hair did not resemble the two ladies beside me. Bondi was ANGRY that day, my friends...

Credits: Director,  Nathan Finochio . Photography,  Amy Edwards . Edited by me.

Credits: Director, Nathan Finochio. Photography, Amy Edwards. Edited by me.

La Bella Vita

"La bella vita"

MEANING:

"The good life" or "The beautiful life".

We live the beautiful life here in Sydney, Australia, and on a recent sunny, Saturday afternoon, my friend Lois (@loisvega -- new website coming soon!) and I forewent the beach for once in order to snap some film photographs of the lovely Bella, blogger and model extraordinaire (shebethesound.com) at her home in Maroubra.

Mostly drawing from my own wardrobe (and a few caps borrowed from male relatives), it was lovely to see how some of the feminine pieces I've recently accumulated (as well as my ever-growing hat collection) translated when mixed with Bella's more ecclectic, clean style as well as her exotic looks.

There is something so decadent and at once feminine about dressing up to laze about in one's own home. Whether it be in the confines of a bedroom--sunlight pouring through an open window; the courtyard of a garden; or resting on a borrowed skateboard, watching the sleepy suburban neighbourhood pass you by.

It's a firm belief of mine that the modern woman doesn't have to sacrifice glamour for comfort, or femininity for "cool" factor. We are more adept than ever at throwing together high street and low streets looks, and toughening up or dressing down girlish dresses or bodysuits with a well-chosen shoe or cap. Bella embodies this ability in her own daily style, which is one of the reasons it was such a pleasure to dress her.

I'd been dying to shoot my vintage black dress (picked up at Mirth Vintage, Greenpoint, BK) for ages, and I knew she would look great in it. Meanwhile, Lois was on hand, not only to capture the moment with her film camera, but also to help style - adding a chair here, a piece of jewellery there and toughening up looks such as Bella's beautiful Elle Macpherson lingerie by requesting the addition of a bomber (and some sass).

Wearing: Kimono and Rings, Model's own. Artwork by   Leanne Thomas  .

Wearing: Kimono and Rings, Model's own. Artwork by Leanne Thomas.